Run-off elections delayed in New Jersey as Mercer County counts all emergency and mail ballots

Two days after an executive order delayed municipal run-off elections by a week, Mercer County announced it had counted all emergency and mail-in ballots.

Mail-in election ballot. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Mail-in election ballot. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Mercer County Board of Elections in New Jersey is getting there.

They announced on Sunday that the remaining emergency ballots and mail ballots from the Nov. 8 General Election have been counted, nearly two weeks later.

Two days earlier, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, in her capacity as acting governor, signed an executive order moving municipal run-off elections resulting from the general election to Tuesday, Dec. 13.

“As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it is imperative that we give our elections officials – who have been working around the clock – the necessary time they need to effectively gather Election Day materials and ballots,” Oliver said in a news release.

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At least three municipalities, including Trenton, have confirmed the need for runoff elections.

In Mercer County, officials updated vote totals Monday morning on the county’s results page. They are “currently adjudicating and counting the provisional votes.”

“To the citizens of Mercer County and the various candidates, I offer my gratitude for your patience and forbearance as we work to ensure that your voices were heard on November 8,” said Nathaniel Walker, superintendent of elections for Mercer County in the news release announcing the update on the vote count.

Mercer County election officials have not responded to multiple interview requests.

Polling places across the 12 municipalities in the county ran into problems on Election Day, when ballot scanners were not accepting ballots. Those showing up to vote in person had to fill out provisional ballots.

Dominion Voting Systems, the company which made the machines, and Royal Printing Service, the company that printed the ballots, blamed each other for the snafu.

The county faced another issue when some ballots were reported missing. Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried expressed frustration over that and other issues that repeated itself from the gubernatorial election in 2021. He called for county election officials to address them before the upcoming state midterm elections next year.

Robbinsville was one of at least two municipalities where ballots went missing.

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Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello later said they were located at the Board of Elections office. She had asked the county prosecutor’s office to investigate why ballot scanners failed.

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